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Gasoline Stolen From Sonoma County Woman's Car After Hole Drilled in Gas Tank; 2 Arrested

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) -- Two people were arrested in Sonoma County after a woman found her car had gas stolen from it through a hole drilled in her gas tank.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said in a post on its Facebook page that the incident happened Wednesday evening at Shiloh Ranch Regional Park in the Larkfield-Wikiup community north of Santa Rosa.

A woman who went on a hike at the park returned to her vehicle, noticed the smell of gasoline, and saw a suspicious person standing next to her car, the sheriff's office said. She also noticed gasoline all over the ground next to her car and a truck parked next to hers.

After she drove away, she saw from her gas gauge there was a significantly less amount of gas than when she arrived for her hike. The woman called 911 and deputies who responded made contact with two people in a white pickup truck, identified as James Rodriguez and Melissa Millis, the sheriff's office said.

Deputies also noticed gasoline on the ground in the Shiloh Park parking lot and draining into a nearby drainage ditch. Inside the back of the pickup was a funnel, rubber hose and partially filled gas cans.

Both Rodriguez and Millis are on parole and Millis has three felony warrants out of Alameda County, the sheriff's office said.

Sonoma County gas arrest
Sonoma County Sheriff's deputy arrest man identified as James Rodriguez near Shiloh Ranch Regional Park, October 21, 2021; image of gas tank with hole drilled. (Sonoma County Sheriff's Office)

The woman later told deputies that when she went to the gas station to refill her tank, she found gas coming out of the bottom of the car through a hole drilled into her gas tank.

A further search of the truck turned up a drill that reeked of gasoline, the sheriff's office said. Both Rodriguez and Millis were arrested and taken to the county jail.

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